The one that sticks out to me currently happened only earlier this year.
To set the scene - I work in the ICT field, in a middle of the road public (government funded) school. I'm part of a three person ICT team, and I'm not the manager of said team. My coworker (same level as me) has one day of the week off and on those off days, the manager likes to get on his soapbox or tell me a past story from his life, as if he thinks I care
To further set the scene, I'm a male in my mid 20s and my manager is a male in his mid 60s. Both of us white.
Now sometimes his soapbox rants get a little bit more politically incorrect. His usual slant is misgynistic.
So this one day, we're somehow on the topic of discrimination. But not the racial kind!
Him: "You see, if I walked down <main shopping mall in our city's central business district> in a burqa, no one would look twice. But if I walked down the same mall in my SS uniform, I'd get insulted, spat on, you name it."
What point is he even trying to make? Also note he said "my
SS uniform", which leads me to suspect he owns the fucking uniform.
Me: "Well, the Nazis aren't exactly the most popular group of people these days."
Him: "You know, too many people buy into propaganda."
Hoo boy. What followed was a far too long conversation in which he tried to convince me that, because history is written by the victors, the atrocities of the Holocaust were greatly exaggerated
. He didn't outright deny it happened, but he sure did try to play it down.
When I wasn't really buying it, he switched tactics, and somehow it got worse
. From downplaying the Holocaust to attempting to justify
Him: "Well, what do you do? You have this group of people in your country, they're poor, diseased, sick, they don't contribute to your economy, and you tell them, 'You have one year to leave the country'."
You'll note this is a wildly incorrect and antisemitic view of the Jewish people living in Germany at the time.
Him: "Anyway, a year passes and they haven't left. What do you do?"
Me: "Well, you don't murder them, for starters."
This post will be far too long if I cover every point he tried to argue, so I'll summarise the rest:
- He made bad faith analogies, making the Jewish people out to be outsiders living in the country stealing from the German people (as opposed to being German citizens who were also Jewish and who owned businesses and contributed to the economy).
- He argued for the seizure of their goods to pay for the war effort (he brushed over the fact that it was a war Hitler started).
- He tried to cast doubt on the concentration camp gas chambers by arguing that if they truly wanted to kill Jewish people, why didn't they just line them up and shoot them? (They did that, but gas was more efficient, plus bullets were needed for the war effort, which is an earlier point he made but disregarded when it suited him).
- He argued that most of the data is made up because the camps didn't keep very good records, so people said whatever they wanted afterwards (they gave every prisoner a fucking numbered tattoo for easy sorting and categorising, but go off I guess).
I countered his points as politely as I could (I'm not big on confrontation) whilst still openly disagreeing, and eventually he moved on.
And by "moved on" I mean he jumped back to his "people buy into propaganda" point by bringing up how many people believe in climate change.
I'll mention once again that we work in a school
, so this Holocaust downplaying Nazi fan works with children!
And fuck me, but I've gotta work with him until at least
the end of the fucking year.
TLDR: I work in a school with a possible Nazi who tried to downplay/justify the Holocaust to me.